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Treatment Options For Lesbian And Trans Populations

Though the perceived prevalence of and views on addiction have fluctuated, addiction has been present in society for centuries.

For decades addiction had a negative connotation as its development was considered to be a choice, portraying an individual struggling with addiction to be consistently exhibiting poor judgment and personal weakness. Although some societal negativity surrounding addiction lingers, it is now officially recognized as a mental disorder, as it is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is described as a relapsing brain disorder that is characterized by habitually engaging in rewarding stimuli regardless of the negative consequences. The treatment options for individuals struggling with substance abuse and/ or addiction have also exploded in the past decade. There are a wide variety of treatment options available, each with varying specialties, foci, and durations. 

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Detox is the first step to one’s treatment, as it is the process that rids one’s body of all foreign substances. It is an essential component to one’s recovery process from substance abuse and/ or addiction. There are several different ways to undergo detox. There are medically supervised detox programs, medical detox programs (providing medical supervision, medications and medical intervention when needed), supervised detox programs, and unsupervised detox options. Depending on the situation, certain detox methods may be more beneficial than others. An individual cannot successfully participate in a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program if he or she has not successfully completed detox. Attending a formal treatment program can help an individual learn useful tools to remain sober. 


Any person that has struggled with substance abuse and/ or addiction has created and reinforced habits and patterns to support his or her substance use. Simply because the substance is removed from one’s body he or she will not instantaneously shed them. This is why formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs are necessary. There are a wide variety of treatment options available for individuals in need. Treatment programs are often divided between inpatient treatment programs and outpatient treatment programs. Inpatient treatment programs require an individual to reside at the treatment facility for the duration of the program. Inpatient programs provide an individual with a fully immersive substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment experience. It is an excellent option for individuals that are able to reside away from home for a period of time. Outpatient treatment programs can be equally effective. An individual attending an outpatient program resides at home while attending a certain number of predetermined program hours, daily. Outpatient treatment can be a great option for individuals that have responsibilities that prohibit them from residing somewhere other than home. 

Even though many general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs welcome any and all individuals, some people may feel more comfortable attending a specialized program. There are different treatment programs that specifically cater to a single subset of society (i.e. treatment for individuals that identify as lesbians, treatment individual’s that identify as trans, male only treatment programs…etc.) When selecting a treatment program it is important to make sure the program is able to accommodate your specific needs. For example, individuals that have a dual diagnosis (suffering from addiction and an additional mental health disorder) should seek a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program that specializes in treating dual diagnosis clientele. 


An aftercare plan is developed during one’s substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program. Aftercare plans are tangible tools that are intended to help an individual transition from his or her acute treatment program to reintegrating into society while continuing to implement the teachings of the program. An aftercare plan can be a vague outline or a detailed schedule, depending on the needs of the individual. Regardless of where one’s plan falls on the spectrum, it is imperative for the individual to closely adhere to his or her aftercare plan so as to successfully continue on his or her path of recovery.  

Further Information

Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous.

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. 

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